When do I need a Spanish VAT number?
As a general rule, a foreign business must register for VAT in Spain as soon as a taxable supply is made. The following are some usual examples of taxable transactions:
- Domestic supply of goods not reverse charged: A supply of goods located in Spain where the supply is not subject to reverse charge requires a VAT registration of the supplier. However, when the supplier is not established, this scenario is very unlikely. See Reverse charge rules in Spain for more information.
- Domestic purchase of goods under the reverse charge: Where the customer is obliged to account for VAT under the reverse charge mechanism, this customer must register for VAT purposes in Spain. For example, where a non-registered business buys goods from a non-established supplier, the buyer must register for VAT.
- Supply of services not reverse charged: Foreign businesses supplying services on which Spanish VAT is due must register for VAT. These services are rather exceptional, as the general B2B rule would apply or domestic reverse charge would normally apply.
- Import: Importing goods into Spain requires a VAT number before importation.
- Export: Exporting goods to a non-EU country requires a VAT number before the export is made.
- Intra-Community acquisition: Acquiring goods from another Member State where all conditions for intra-Community movements are met requires the customer to register for VAT.
- Intra-Community supply: Supplying goods to another Member State is also a taxable transaction that obliges the supplier to register for VAT.
- Distance sales above the threshold also require a VAT number. See Spanish distance sales rules for more information.
A voluntary registration is not possible in Spain. This is, companies cannot register if they have not made a taxable transaction.
A backdated registration is possible. Penalties on late filing will apply, also late payment penalties would apply in case a VAT payment has been missed.
There is no registration threshold in Spain. This applies to both, established and non-established businesses. Any company performing taxable transactions should register for VAT.